June 7, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different

(AGFA Isolette camera gifted by Paul for my sixteenth birthday. Taken in 2010)

I’ve been having in-between feelings about this blog here. I really enjoy sharing my work in this space but I wish I could share more; not just photographs but things that are important to me, work that inspires me, artists that I could interview.

I’ve been feeling very conflicted about where I want to take this space. We live in a very commercial world. Many of the blogs and instagram accounts I follow seem to be so…produced. Photographs and text are planned out to the most minute of details. Items are arranged into perfect showcases, bragging to you about all of the designer/luxury items you do not own and probably never will. Pretty girls roam about the world as though there is no money involved and pose in front of big city view windows to the level where everything just looks the same. It has gotten to the point where I feel like nothing is worth sharing unless it is perfectly crafted or contains the latest and greatest fashion/beauty trends and it feels like if you’re not a model or a very attractive man, you’re not worth paying attention to. It seems as though everyone subscribes to their own perfect niche and there is no room to break out of a preconceived category.

In my universe, I would ideally love this space to be a hybrid of all of my interests but it’s unrealistic because I just don’t have the time to talk about everything that I like. Mostly, I would like to talk more about what inspires me and my thoughts and feelings; not because I think I’m particularly interesting or that my thoughts are profound but rather because I want to practice my writing in a public space and collate everything that I find on the internet (and in real life) in one cohesive place online. I keep a journal but most of what I should be writing in there just floats around in my head and never finds a place on paper. I want to share more experiments and developments in my work and why I create particular images that I do. There are many stories and struggles that relate to my work that I have not shared. I feel that a lot of the time people don’t want to read something that’s honest and true, they seek the sugar coated version that tells them that life is going to be so magical one day. I struggled a lot with that when I was in my final year of high school. I would come home most days and cry my eyes out on my bed for hours wondering why it wasn’t that one day yet, why my life wasn’t magical and happy. I waited for it to find me instead of chasing it myself. Reality is often boring or mundane but at least it’s realistic and at least we have a choice to change it and I think it’s really important to share things that aren’t just some magical fairy unicorn story. 

There’s this photographer I follow, Natalie Kucken. Every month she posts a diary entry of photographs complimented by her experiences that month. Her writing is very honest and personal and it speaks to me on both a personal and imaginative level. The quote below is taken from her April diary post and I find it to be the perfect line between reality and imagination:
“everything is going (too) well, everything's in its place, nothing's going wrong and it feels all wrong and awful that nothing is wrong or awful. have had the feeling of needing to ruin something soon, "watch the world burn". to the small-talk question "what have you been doing/up to?" my answer's been "sleeping" because that's all i can think of. one to two days per week have been cripplingly sleepy/lonely i forgot that that was my constant for a few months a couple of years ago and for longer spells in-between then and now, but now it's an almost scheduled lil fleeting paralysis. i've been attracted to red and have been drawing in a little notebook all the time because i'm afraid to let my mind wander. collected four big white-framed window panes, the blooming flowers off the trees from the sidewalk, spent three stops alone on an empty subway car with a person in a ski mask in the middle of the night, thought about my constructed world. spent premeditated days with my heart beating too fast for hours and listened very closely with my jaw clenched.”
It’s written in such a way that you can relate to her experiences through your own yet, at the same time, it feels like you’re reading a novel and your imagination is left to picture the rest and I really like that. The photos are washed out and even feel like the embodiment of memory; they’re bleak at times and insanely interesting the next.

All images by Natalie Kucken

I’ve wanted to post something about this for a really long time. I tend to think about an idea for something I would like to write but never end up actually getting around to publishing it and my ideas just waste away in my subconscious. Truthfully I should really write about whatever the hell I want to here because it’s my blog, I can do what I want with it. I wouldn’t say it’s the possibility of losing followers that is deterring me from posting, it’s my own image as a professional. I am young, but I also own a business and people often forget about it so I feel like compensating for that by running everything as though I was a thirty-something year old who entirely depends on the money from their freelance photography business. But the truth is that I’m not. I’m a nineteen year old university student who works three different jobs to fund myself. Sure, the majority of my funds come from photography work but at the moment I wouldn’t go so far to say that it is my career, my work is very intermittent. My career is a student first and it will be for at least the next three years. I have plenty of time to be boring and remain ‘professional’ (what even does that mean?) later on in life. For now, I should do what I want and practice the skills that I want rather than worrying about the rest of the world and its current fixations.

If you have any thoughts, ideas for posts or anything you wish to see more, let me know in the comments :)


  1. I love it when people write something that touches them, about their feelings and thoughts. It's interesting to read how other people see the world. But I disagree with you about everyday life being boring. Because even though life may seem boring some days, but there is always something magical in each day. Like the way the sun rays meet your skin, a smile, wearing your favorite outfit.. Everyday life can feel magical for the little things, but it all comes down to one's own attitude and thoughts. At least that's how i see the world :)

  2. Hey Miia! I totally agree with you. I love the subtleties that make everyday life seem 'magical' however I was more talking about how no one seems to write about just what they do everyday. They mention how beautiful the light was or how life changing a sunset was but never really just about what they did, how they were feeling, why they were feeling that particular way. Life is what you make of it, but everyone has darker days and I guess that's what I'm more interested in because I feel that society places so much emphasis on that 'magic' :)

  3. I want to see/read a blog that is written by you and for you. I sometimes feel the pressure to write about certain things or take photos of certain things. I make the post but it just sounds so contrived because its not real, its not raw, its not me.

    Your blog needs to be a place where you feel your most comfortable, where you can throw your feelings onto the page and watch the world try and understand you, and if they dont, then whatever! its not about them.

    I am looking forward to watching your space grow! I can tell its gonna be great x

    1. I think there's a fine line between something sounding very contrived and something written for you. The post I just published took three rewrites because I just couldn't get what I wanted to convey across with the right tone. I think it's very easy to subconsciously be influenced by other people, their writing, art etc that you kind of loose yourself a little bit in the process.

      I completely agree with you. I think it's really hard to be able to do that now because there is so much pressure with blogging. It was so much easier when I had a blog in 2009 because no one cared. There were a few good bloggers but ultimately could just be yourself. Now it seems like everyone's a famous blogger and they get paid to travel the world and do things that right now, I feel like I'll never be able to do. It's hard to not let that influence you in some way or another.

  4. I have felt that pressure too Carolyn :( That's why I haven't updated my blog in a long time and it just kills me inside knowing that I don't have the courage to share stories I'm keeping inside of my head. But I so glad that you wrote this post. We all need to be honest in this superficial world.

    1. Stephanie, I love seeing your blog posts! You should incorporate the stories behind your images more! :)


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